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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Question about the characters? *Currently on The Great Hunt*


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Hello everybody, new here and to the Wheel of Time series in general :) I'm hoping to keep spoilers to a very bare minimum, so bear with me! (I might spoil too for the first book and part of the second, so beware!)

 

 

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So, I'm loving the book series and it's story so far (I'm reading them in publish order, so I'm on the second book), but one thing has been bugging me, and that's...well, most of the characters themselves.

 

It's very hard to associate with Perrin, Mat, Rand, Nyn, or really anyone from Two Rivers. They all seem so intentionally dense. So far it feels like Lan and Morraine are the only two with even half a brain.

 

I understand Rand's reluctance to begin with. Taken from home, monsters chasing him, alright. But how long does it take before one grows up? The three boys are more men - if I recall correctly he is around age 20 at the time of this book. So with that in mind, does he ever, or anyone in this series for that matter, actually have character development?

 

I know Tam and the Gleeman told Ran to be way around magic users such as Moraine, but how many times do you have to be freakin' saved by someone before you trust them? He constantly tells himself how he's surprised he would rather be in Moraine's company at different parts of the book - or as in the first hundred pages of the second book, he immediately suspects Moraine of having him soon-to-be-gentled. Nevermind the fact that he himself defeated Baalz (can't remember his full name, sorry) in the first book, or that Morraine and Lan saved them more times than they could count.

 

And yet, for all their efforts, all he does is suspect them. Consistently now, he keeps saying "I won't be used", despite the fact that he's the Dragon Reborn all but being shoved in his face. I understand the need for characters to have a starting point, but everything that was built up in the first book seems to be reset. It's like Rand forgot he saved the world (for a time), only thanks to Morraine saving his arse nearly every step of the way.

 

Perrin too -- to a slighter degree. He is able to communicate with wolves, and he apparently thinks this is a curse somehow? Mat takes items from a place that he was warned beforehand was cursed. And while they're on the run and suspicious of everyone in the first book, Mat somehow thinks it would be a good idea to do the exact opposite of blend in and piss some Children of the Light off with prank. Really, for being 20 years old, they seem closer to the three stooges.

 

Sorry if it seemed like a rant, but that's only because I'm interested/engaged enough to bother (and that's a good thing :p ) but with that being said, is there light at the end of the tunnel? Watching Rand intentionally troll with the fate of the world on the balance is getting a tad irritating..(I say this because he consistently says "I'll do the opposite of what you want" -- even Moraine and the Aes Sedai leader know of his aversion to reason).

 

Hope to hear some good news!

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The boys are all around the age of 18, but do in the earlier books act like children.

 

Let me say that there is -some- light at the end of the tunnel. Mat goes from being a boring character to an absolute gold mine. Keep reading ;).

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Magicana is correct, Mat is my joint favourite character by the end of the series.

 

I think you have to keep in mind though the characters have been raised in a different world from ours in many ways. Firstly, the tales of the previous age have been twisted, so the Aes Sedai are feared by most people and hated by some. That explains the mistrust a lot have for One Power wielders.

 

Secondly, women are treated much much more equally than they were in our society historically. However, it appears they are expected to grow up quicker than men, at least outside the Borderlands.

 

Keep reading though, there's a lot of good character development coming.

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I acted pretty immature at 18 also, part of it is you suddenly take people who had been isolated from the main world and thrust them into large cities and such it can be pretty overwhelming.  Look at how many act at college their first year.  Yes Rand's  I won't be used got tiring, but Mat took things too literally with the taking the dagger.  He wasn't "given" anything so he assumed he was ok.  Remember the one thing said over and over about men of the two rivers, they are stubborn.  Yes many of the things they did might seem childish but in some way they were still children, who were forced to grow up fast and traveling with people (Moraine and Lan) they aren't totally sure they can trust.  After all Tam and Thom both warn them about Aes Sedai.   Not sure why you have an issue with Perrin talking with wolves viewing it as a curse, what is he suppose to think suddenly being able to sense and communicate with wolves a creature many mistake as being evil beasts.  What he sees in book 3 only reinforces him being afraid of it.

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Thanks for the replies everyone - I'll stay hopeful in that case :). I have read a bit more since then, and Rand's crazy mistrust for a figure who's saved his life on numerous occasions just keeps getting more and more insane. (SOME SPOILERS FOR BOOK 2 HERE ON OUT!)

 

 

As they are pursuing the horn with Ingtar and his band they stopped for a night and Rand, Loial, and Hurin awake in a 'mirror world' Rand's FIRST suspicion is that Morraine has something to do with it. Seriously - as Sabio said, I understand they grew up with tales that Aes Sedai were essentially evil figures, but like I said; how many times does someone have to pull you out of danger before they get a bit of slack? Regarding the stories they grew up on in the Two Rivers, even Rand says what he knows has been turned upside down. Except for the ONE person seemingly not trying to give him to the dark one or kill him. His suspicion and mistrust is just so odd, and I've tried really hard to put myself in his shoes. Same with Nyn and her out of place hatred for Moraine - she says to herself multiple times she won't forgive Moraine for what she's done to the three boys. Which is...what; save them? It's just..blah. Rand might be the protagonist of the story but it's really feeling like Moraine and Lan are the unsung heroes at the end of the day.

 

A bit further on in the mirror world, and Rand is 100% sure it is his power that brought them to the world. Then we enter Selene, who, never mind the screaming alarms of the suspicious way she is acting, is given a free pass on trust. Despite that she even said she came into the mirror world alone. Despite her saying she is not Aes Sedai, but Rand KNOWING the power was needed to enter the world. Now to his credit, he does begin to tell her off regarding her zealous attitude towards seeing the horn and staying beside him forever, despite them meeting approximately 24 hours ago. Yet despite this, she gets on his trust-list, whereas Moraine is still, STILL being accused of completely random encounters (soldiers in the bar as soon as they leave the mirror world). I love putting myself in the shoes of characters generally, but I for the life of me can NOT see where Rand is coming from, his back story and everything else taken into consideration. Or most of the Two Rivers characters, for that matter.

 

Regarding communicating with wolves, Perrin has had the evidence of wolves not being evil beasts thrown in his face since book one when he begins to talk with them. He is told, and proven through sensing and communicating with the ex warder (I forgot his name) and the wolves, that wolves are the ones that HATE evil creatures (trollocs, fades, etc.). Hopper even sacrifices himself for Perrin, and yet the same way Rand mistrusts Morraine, Perrin too mistrusts his saviors. I'm really hoping that this is alluding to them paying a price for their foolishness, at least on some level.

 

Anyway, these pet peeves aside I'm loving the series otherwise. I really hope a trolloc comes along and clubs some sense into them soon, though. :p

Edited by Naddy
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From checking Steven Cooper's timeline, Rand becomes 20 around the time of chapters 49-50.

Eye of the World chapter 8 tells that Rand's/Mat's/Perrin's birth dates are within weeks of each other.  No book tells the exact birth date of any character.

age 18 for them would have been 1 to 2 years before the start of the main series.

Egwene is about 2 years younger than them; Eye of the World chapter 3.

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Hello Mb,

 

Yes I thought 18 was a bit young for the three boys - a bit of quick reading confirms this. Page 94 of the Great Hunt (ebook) has Moraine speaking of when Rand was born.

 

"Nearly twenty years ago the Aiel crossed the Spine of the World, the Dragonwall, the only time

they have ever done so. They ravaged through Cairhien, destroyed every ..........(a bit more story and down the page)....And Gitara Sedai started up

out of her chair, her arms and legs rigid, trembling, her face as if she looked into the Pit of Doom at

Shayol Ghul, and she cried out, ‘He is born again! I feel him! The Dragon takes his first breath on the

slope of Dragonmount! He is coming!"

 

So they were roughly 20, thanks for giving me the nudge to make sure, too :). This doesn't make me feel any better about their behavior though, sadly. Still as everyone has said, I'm looking forward to their growth spurts, as it were.

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Presently, chapter 23. Moraine was just ambushed by the Draghkar. Not quite sure what Lan sees in Nyn, speaking of the previous chapter.

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Well Rand was suspicious of Moraine and siuan just letting him go.  I understand some of his suspicion being a bit over done and confusing, but he did assume that moraine had some secret plan she was working on and really didn't think she would just let him go.  As for meeting Selene, it has been speculated she was trying to use small amounts of compulsion on him.  Bur Moriane was Aes Sedai, and all through the series all they are told from Lan, Thom, Fain, etc is don't trust Aes Sedai, so I can see him being more trusting of Selene then Moraine who he is sure is somehow trying to manipulate him.  The packing just fancy jackets, the packing the banner, and telling Intgar Rand would be leader if he fell all just added to rand's suspicion that Moraine was up to something.  But I agree whole heartedly that seemed weird Rand in Book 1 was so suspicious of Moriane yet seemed to believe more of what Balazmon was telling him in his dreams. 

 

I can see what Lan sees in Nyn, she is in her late 20's ( I think), a tough women, was impressed with her tracking, and I believe is described as being pretty.  What she sees in Lan is the mystery. 

Edited by Sabio
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I'll just tell you now that each character changes and develops immensely by the end of the series. I don't want to say more, though, since that may give spoilers.

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Sabio,

 

Yes it is still a bit frustrating who Rand chooses to trust, and why. Currently on chapter 36, Rand recently took them to Toman Head using the portal stone, but it apparently took 13 weeks real time. Rand is again suspicious of Aes Sedai, this time Verin despite her doing nothing wrong thus far, and essentially tells her off when telling him he needs to reign in control over his power. She's again one of the few Aes Sedai who has no intention of gentling him, and he says he doesn't want her help, despite the remark being a pretty sound one. Control your power over the source, don't go mad. Regarding Lan and Nynaeve, yes their whole romance does feel a bit forced. Lan went from not giving her a second glance (and according to Moraine a few chapters ago, he's ignored quite a few women and their advances), so even if she is pretty it seems odd he would just now fall for someone, especially over something as small as being able to track decently.

 

 

 

Dawnflower, thanks! That seems to be the general consensus so I'm really looking forward to it. I just have a feeling someone (one or a few) is going to die for Rand's blatant stupidity (it is this at this point, he loss the right to use the 'ignorant' card a long time ago) before he gets his act together.

Edited by Naddy
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm trying to think of the best ways to answer some of these questions without giving away any spoilers...

 

Regarding Rand and Moiriane... He's had just about everyone, his entire life, telling him that Aes Sedai are not to be trusted. Even during Eye of the World, he had Ba'alzamoe weaving in just enough truth in with his lies to plant seeds of doubt. Yes, Moiriane saves his butt a bunch of times but all that really says (at that point) is that she doesn't want him dead. Everything he's been told to that point is that she's going to manipulate and cash in on those "favors" at some point. To be fair, Moiriane does indeed to a fair share of manipulating. Furthermore, Moiriane & Lan could definitely be a bit more friendly and forthcoming with information. The is are actions that Moiriane does to this point in the story that would put her in "grey area" terroritory (Sinking the Ferry).

 

Regarding Rand and Selene... A big part of why Rand acts the way he does around her is the basic way a 20 year old man would react with a woman who is as ideal and physically beautiful as he's ever seen that flirts and shows interest in him. That attraction trumps logic.

 

Regarding Nyneave/LAN - There was a lot of time when it was just her/Moiraine/Lan tracking down the marked coin. While it wasn't "on screen", there is plenty of time for something like that to happen. Her personality is definitely different than that of a woman "throwing themselves at his feet" and her fearlessness when it comes to protecting her people is certainly a quaility a man like Lan would admire.

 

Regarding Mat & Perrin - I'll echo what others have said about Mat. He's probably the most fun to read and really comes to his own starting in book 3. Perrin has his moments (book 4) but also does a lot of his share of ticking me off.

 

Regarding character development - There is plenty of this, however due to the length of the series it happens slower and is much more subtle. Having re-read the series it's amazing how far they come from book 1 to book 14, while still also maintaining much of what makes them who they are.

 

Keep reading.

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@naddy, I don't see what's wrong with Rand being suspicious of Verin.  Mat and Perin know she is there just for Rand and thought it was better for Rand to stay away. She is one of 4 Aes Sedai that know about him and she suddenly appears, I could easily see him thinking she was sent to be his baby sitter and "guide' him.  Again all their lives they are told to be wary around Aes Sedai, what they say might not be what you think they say, and all their gifts come with strings.  So one suddenly shows up to help, should make any person suspicious not to mention that last thing you want if you are a man who can channel is a Aes Sedai hanging around.  Her appearing just makes Rand even more certain there is a plot by Moraine to make him do certain things. 

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The boys are all around the age of 18, but do in the earlier books act like children.

 

Let me say that there is -some- light at the end of the tunnel. Mat goes from being a boring character to an absolute gold mine. Keep reading ;).

+ 1, nicely said!

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I can see what Lan sees in Nyn, she is in her late 20's ( I think), a tough women, was impressed with her tracking, and I believe is described as being pretty.  What she sees in Lan is the mystery. 

It has be theorized (in other sources) that women are attracted to men similar to her father (or a father figure she had); and men to women similar to his mother (or a mother figure he had).

Maybe Lan reminds Nynaeve of her father or a father figure of Nynaeve.

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@Naddy, I agree that the way Rand, Mat and Perrin act can be incredibly annoying. That said when I first read this series (I was twelve) I was actually on their side regarding Moiraine et al. Of course that just reinforces the fact that Rand and Mat and Perrin can be incredibly immature.

 

As for Selene, she is essentially described as the hottest woman alive, so spectacularly beautiful that ones jaw just drops. I described Rand's situation with Selene to my husband once (he hasn't read the books) and asked how he would have reacted when he was twenty, even if the really beautiful woman seemed sort of suspicious. My husband said he wouldn't have cared or paid attention to the suspiciousness since OMG HOT LADY WANTS ME.  Also, remember that Rand is a virgin, so that makes it even more difficult to think with the head on his shoulders when confronted with the most beautiful lady ever who is also hitting on him.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Don't forget that our favorite blue sister once told the boys that she'd kill the boys just to the dark one from them. Not the best way to say "I have your best interests at heart". Also leaves quite a lasting impression

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Keep reading.

 

This is definitely the best advice. There's lots of character development in the series. Rand in particular goes through a lot, and I admit that there were times where I struggled to see myself doing the things he did. But, well, there's plenty of explanation for those events. Difficult to say without spoilers, but let's just say it takes him a bloody long time to get his act together.  

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If I found out that I was destined to become the Antichrist, I'd be pretty paranoid about people wanting to control me too. Not to mention people (Aes Sedai) that you have been conditioned to mistrust. I think with the exception of Nynaeve whom I don't underst

 

Anakin Skywalker blindly believed people and look where that got him!

Edited by PopCultureDiva
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Just a figure of speech. I wouldn't compare Rand to Jesus because he wasn't exactly preaching "love thy neighbour". :) He was a person of great power, who COULD save the world, but he could also destroy it if he went over to the darkside. He was very dangerous is all I'm saying. So naturally he would be paranoid. It wasn't just about other people, but about himself too.

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A better comparison with Rand might be the character Emma in the show Once Upon A Time; more specifically, season 1.

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There is one thing that was hinted at earlier and everyone keeps forgetting is that these guys are extremely provincial. They are behaving in self preservation and are trying to shrink back into their shell to protect themselves from all the changestjat are taking place in their lives. Also one has to remember that they do not have the benefit of reading the different povs like us. All they see is a mysterious woman or rather a set of mysterious women they re conditioned to misttust. I mean I absolutely love moraine she is a wonderful character.but you have to see things from their perspective. what did they do at the eye? They were overmatched bit we the readers know that. These guys do not know that. Mix it with the fact the aura of invincibility that moot and lan like to portray does not leave much room for trust.

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